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Out in the Silence (2009)

1 rating: 5.0
Documentary movie directed by Joe Wilson;Dean Hamer

Out In the Silence captures the remarkable chain of events that unfold when the announcement of filmmaker Joe Wilson s wedding to another man ignites a firestorm of controversy in the small Pennsylvania hometown he left long ago. Drawn back by a plea … see full wiki

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1 review about Out in the Silence (2009)

Oil City, Pennsylvania

  • Jan 19, 2010
"Out in the Silence"

Oil City, Pennsylvania

Amos Lassen

Occasionally I will see a film that is a total experience and that moves me completely. "Out in the Silence" is such a film. When Joe Wilson married his lover, Dean Hamer, they put a wedding announcement in Joe's hometown newspaper. Joe had been raised in Oil City, Pennsylvania, a small town that he had left long. When he received a letter from a resident of his hometown, a mother of a gay ten who was being mentally tortured, he decided to go back home and document what he found. The result is this beautiful film, a look at love, hate and understanding in small-town America.
Oil City is a town that had once had industry, a town that the rest of the world has passed by. It was a peaceful, quiet place until Joe Wilson put his wedding announcement in the local paper. Kathy Springer (among many others) saw it and wrote to Joe about how her son CJ was being treated at school simply because he was gay. School authorities looked the other way and Susan having nowhere to turn asked Joe for help. The two soon became fast friends and with Joe's help, things began to change.
Diane Gramley, the head of the local American Family Association, a very conservative pressure group also saw the announcement but she saw it as an omen that the "homosexual agenda" was coming to town. She used the announcement as an opportunity to get the people of Oil City to say no to same-sex marriage and to homosexuality in general.
Joe Wilson then once again becomes part of his hometown as he looks at the cost of being different in small-town America. He meets a lesbian couple and he helps them renovate an old theater that could change the economy of the town and he becomes friendly with an evangelical pastor and we see how understanding happens. The pastor's wife so says that we are afraid of what we do not know, something I have always felt and with knowledge comes understanding and in many cases, acceptance.
An interesting aspect of the film to me especially was the use of the American Family Association's totally erroneous film, "They're Coming to Your Town" as an example of what gay people can do to a town. It is all harmful and so untrue.
Joe Wilson used his camera in a unique way and this is not just a documentary. The film troubles the viewer as well as comforts him. This is a fascinating and moving look at what it is like to be gay in America and it is to be embraced and applauded. Quite simply, it is beautiful.

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